[Gamers' Day 2007] Just A Little...

CRUSH has warped our fragile little minds. And we want more.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: May 17, 2007
Okay, fine, we'll admit it, we've been a little hard on UK developer Kuju Interactive, but that was before we knew they were down with what must be some awesome psychedelics. Hell, even if they weren't completely fried while coming up with the concept for CRUSH, we've gotta admit that they are at least channeling some of those thought processes. The whole mind-bending nature of a puzzler where you can slam three dimensions down into two means that someone was clearly thinking outside the box as they designed the game.

See, Danny doesn't sleep so well. He's an insomniac, likely brought on by the fact that homeboy has had some pretty messed up stuff happen to him over the years. When he draws support from a therapist-cum-psychonaut, his memories are warped into surrealist extrapolations in three dimensions. Ah, but they don't stay in 3D for long. One of the bonuses to using a device to suck the memories out and explore them is that they can be manipulated -- in this case a heavy stomp will literally crush the world from 3D into 2D, bringing far-off platforms separated by a great chasm right next to the platform Danny is standing on.

If the concept sounds intriguing, start getting used to a lot of folks trying to describe it and then failing. In fact, it's best that you watch the trailer we have of the game and peek at the screens to properly wrap your head around it, but know that it's not as simple as just running around and smooshing the world into a pancake. Smoky, this is not 'Nam; there are rules.

First off, you're allowed to peek at the world from all four sides of the angular, blocky worlds, and again from the top, and you can crush or uncrush at any time. The catch is that the blocks that make up the levels behave differently when crushed; green ones are impossible to move, ghost ones disappear entirely and brown ones are reduced to the yellow strips that accent them, which then become platforms and stairs.

To say that the game messes with your head is an understatement. It requires a level of spatial awareness that no game has ever required before, and SEGA has promised plenty of hand-holding for the first few missions while you reconfigure your brain waves to properly accept the whole concept. Hopefully there are a lot of tutorial levels, because even with a good night's sleep, we still felt like a monkey with Rubik's Cube. A stupid monkey with a Rubik's Cube.

The game hits in about a month, but hopefully we'll have a little more time to wrap our brains around this one. Seriously, though, watch the video. It helps. Or hurts... Ugh, where's that Excedrin...